Days of solidarity with Ukrainians jailed for protesting Putin’s Crimean Anschluss announced


Crimea, Political prisoners, Ukraine

Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy have been held in Russian jails for two years already under fabricated charges of “terrorism.” Human rights activists have called for anybody concerned with rights, liberties and justice, to join solidarity actions in support of these Ukrainian political prisoners who are persecuted due to their pro-Ukrainian views, civic stand and desire for freedom in Russia-annexed Crimea, during May 26 to June 4.

Ukrainian citizens Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy, called “The Crimean Four,” were arrested in May 2014 in Simferopol, Crimea, by Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. They were accused of the arson attacks against the office door of the Russian Community of Crimea pro-Kremlin organization and the window of Russian United Russia party office. Similar attacks are usually regarded as hooliganism and property damage in Russia – but this time these actions were labelled “terrorism.”

Read more: The Sentsov-Kolchenko case: what you need to know

“The Crimean Four” were also accused of preparation to blow up Lenin monument and the WWII memorial in Simferopol. On 23 May, 2014, they were unlawfully transported from the occupied Crimean territory to Moscow for further investigation and to face trial. Ukrainian diplomats were not allowed access to the detainees, as the Russian side stated that it considers the Crimeans (with the exception of O. Chyrniy) to be Russian nationals.

The detainees also stated that they had been tortured. As for now, Oleg Sentsov is sentenced by the Russian “justice” system to 20 years in a strict regime penal colony, Olexander Kolchenko – to 10 years in a strict regime penal colony, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy – to 7 years in a strict regime penal colony. Currently Sentsov serves his sentence in the camp in Yakutiya, Kolchenko – in Chelyabinsk oblast, Chyrniy – in Magadan oblast, Afanasiev was, under unclear circumstances, transferred from the Komi Republic to Lefortovo pre-trial detention center (SIZO) in Moscow “for further investigative actions.”

Read also: Unbroken after a year of show trials. Oleh Sentsov’s most inspiring quotes

We call upon everyone concerned with rights, liberties and justice, to join solidarity actions with “The Crimean Four”. From May 26 to June 4 anyone can join by any convenient way: by organizing a lecture, discussion, film screening, charity auction, exhibition, concert, workshop, graffiti tour, public rally, flashmob or any other kind of event that can remind people around of the plight of “The Crimean Four.”

Raise some money to support political prisoners and their families, write and send letters or postcards to the Crimean hostages of the Kremlin, record a video message for them. And take photos of your events, so that we could send them to Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy.

Follow updates on the fb page Let My People Go.

The campaign is initiated by:
”Solidarity Committee” (support group for the “Crimean Hostages”)
Euromaidan SOS within LetMyPeopleGo campaign
Center for Civil Liberties
No Borders Project (at Social Action Centre NGO)

Julia Arkhipova, +38 093 367 6906 [email protected]
Maksym Butkevych, +380 50 3348780, [email protected]

Social media hashtags ‪#‎FreeCrimeanFour ‪#‎LetMyPeopleGo


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